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20 May, 2024
1 min time to read

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight company, successfully sent six paying customers to the edge of space and back, marking its return to crewed missions after a nearly two-year hiatus.

This mission, Blue Origin’s seventh with humans on board, launched from West Texas' Launch Site One at 10:30 AM ET and reached the Kármán line, the boundary of space 62 miles above Earth.

Among the passengers was 90-year-old Ed Dwight, the first Black astronaut candidate selected for training in 1961, who finally achieved his space journey. The other crew members included Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L. Hess, Carol Schaller, and Gopi Thotakura, who all experienced zero gravity during the flight.

The New Shepard crew capsule landed safely back on Earth about 10 minutes after launch, despite one of its three parachutes not deploying properly.

This flight marked the 25th mission for a New Shepard rocket, the first crewed mission since August 2022, following a structural failure in its engine nozzle during a payload mission in September 2022. The rocket had resumed flights in December 2023 with another payload mission, leading to this successful human flight.